Cultural Studies

M.A. Track in Cultural Studies

The M.A. in Cultural Studies requires 30 credits of graduate work. At least 15 credits must be taken within the department (including no more than three credits of CST 599 Indpendent Studies).

Full Information on Graduate admissions and M.A. and Ph.D. degree structure can be found in the Department Handbook (available as a PDF).

In addition to the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, the following are required:

A. Course Requirements

The following courses must be taken by all M.A. students.

  1. CST 502: Theories in Cultural Studies
  2. CST 510: History of Cultural Studies
  3. CST 609: Advanced Topics in Cultural Theory
  4. Two CLT/CST courses numbered 600 and higher

B. First-Year Evaluation

In the middle of the student's second semester of graduate work, the director of graduate studies or director of cultural studies prepares a file for the student's first-year evaluation. It consists of: 1) the student's grades and (2) letters from the professors in all the student's classes. Students may submit any other additional relevant material they choose. The graduate studies committee will evaluate the dossier and decide whether the student should continue in the program.

C. Satisfactory Progress for the M.A.

Because so many factors influence students' satisfactory progress towards the degree, it is important for students to be aware of and to monitor their own situation. The following define the minimum limits for satisfactory progress for full-time students:

  1. Maintain a 3.5 grade point average, with no course below B-, in each semester of graduate study. There is a one-year maximum limit on incompletes. A student may accumulate no more than two incomplete grades in any one semester or she/he will no longer be considered a Student in Good Standing, a prerequisite to continue in the program. As a result, the student will likely face dismissal from the program.
  2. Receive a satisfactory first-year evaluation in the spring semester of the first year of study.

D. Foreign Language Requirements

Candidates for the MA are required to demonstrate competence in either one principal foreign language (that is, any language that is of principal importance to the student’s course of study) or two secondary languages. English may count as a principal language for non-Native speakers.

To demonstrate competence in the principal foreign language, students must take for credit and earn a grade of B or better in at least one graduate or advanced undergraduate literature course conducted in the language (final papers may be written in English). Or, students may enroll in an independent study. In special cases, students may substitute an advanced language examination of three hours in lieu of course work. The examination consists of three sections: a) oral comprehension, defined as the ability to understand and summarize in English the contents of two graduate level lectures conducted in the foreign language; b) written comprehension, defined as the ability to understand and answer questions on a moderately long (approximately ten pages) theoretical, critical, or scholarly article; c) translation skills, shown through translating into English an advanced-level literary passage. The student is permitted to use a dictionary for part c but not for part b. If the principal foreign language being examined is a Classical language (e.g., Classical Chinese, Sanskrit, Greek), the three-hour test will consist of translations at an appropriately advanced level.

Competence in the two secondary languages can be demonstrated by: 1) earning a grade of B or better in a graduate translation course or 2) passing a translation examination to be taken with a dictionary.

E. Master's Examination

The student will take a two-hour oral examination in the second year of graduate study or submit a master’s thesis. The Master's examination committee consists of three members of the faculty, at least two of whom are members of the CAT core faculty.   The student's advisor normally chairs the Committee, and the other two members are chosen by the director of graduate studies in consultation with the student and his/her advisor.

Reading List for the Examination:

Cover sheet for reading list

The student, in consultation with the examination committee, prepares a list of works in each of the following three areas: A) History and theory of cultural studies; B) A cultural phenomenon; C) a historical period.   Each of the other reading lists will consist of 15-20 primary texts. The student’s examination committee will review and approve the exam lists before the student submits the signature sheet to the Director of Graduate Studies for final pre-examination review of requirements. At the two- hour oral exam at least two of the three members of the examination committee must be present.

Thesis Substitute for Master's Examination

Instead of taking the M.A. examination students may substitute a thesis for the Master's examination. The thesis must be on a substantive topic in cultural studies requiring original research. The student will form a committee of three faculty, at least two of whom must be from the CAT core faculty, who will supervise the project and give approval.

F. Advisor and Mentor

The Graduate School requires all students to have an advisor. The director of cultural studies serves as advisor to all entering students during their first year and helps them plan their programs. Before the end of the first academic year, full-time students should choose one official graduate advisor from the Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies graduate faculty. Advisor and student meet regularly to discuss the student's progress and program. Advisors are normally chosen for one year, but students are, of course, free to change advisors and are encouraged to consult with all members of the faculty.

Incoming students are also urged to choose a faculty member to serve as a mentor who can meet with the student to discuss a variety of concerns not necessarily involving course work.

G. Residence Requirement

The University requires that students receiving a M.A. must take at least two consecutive semesters of full-time graduate study, this usually means 12 credits per semester.

"For general information on Stony Brook University's graduate programs, go to the Graduate Bulletin" Graduate Bulletin



For detailed information click here

Spring 2016


CAT Graduate Colloquium

Wednesday, March 23rd, from 1:00 - 2:20 in Frey Hall 105.

Our speakers include: 

Kathryn Silverstein, "Crime, Time, and the Corporeal in Julia Kristeva's Possessions"

Mark Pingree, "Cosmic Pessimism: Catastrophe, Trauma and Extinction"

Shruti Mukherjee, "Activism during Siege: Rise of Hindu Nationalist Right Wing in India"

CAT Graduate Colloquium

Wednesday, February 10th, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. 

Humanities Institute, Room#1008

Speakers and Titles: 

Spatiality, Cognitive Ecology, Here 

Professor John Lutterbie, "Gutters and Panels"

David Rodriguez, "Environment at Scale"


Fall 2015

Cultural Analysis and Theory -Graduate Student Conference


2015 Stony Brook University, Dept. of Cultural Analysis and Theory, Graduate Student Conference

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

SBU Manhattan

387 Park Avenue South, 3rd Floor

New York, NY 10016


2015 CAT Colloquium

Wednesday, October 28th, from 1:00 - 2:20 p.m.

Humanities Institute room#1008

Speakers and Titles:

Professor E.K. Tan, “From Exile to Queer Homecoming: Chen Xue’s A Wife’s Diary (2012)"

Yalda Hamidi, “'Diasporic Literature as a Feminist Genre: Re-reading Persepolis and Reading Lolita in Tehran"


Co-Sponsored Events:

Black History Month

Keynote speaker Sonia Sanchez poet, educator, and lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation and Racial Justice. 

Wednesday, January 27
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Student Activities Center Gelber Auditorium

DANTE WORLDS Echoes, Places, Questions -- A Conference on the 750th Anniversary of Dante's Birth 
Wednesday,  December 2, 2015 
Charles B. Wang Lecture Hall 29:30 am to 5:30 pm

English Graduate Student Conference - Spring 2016
Speaking Text(s): Communication in the Humanities

Kadji Amin published "'Blesser' le spectateur blanc américain: Les Nègres aux États-Unis, 1961-64 et 2003" in Études françaises.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship on SEX at the University of Pennsylvania Humanities Forum for the 2015-16 academic year.

Kadji Amin has been awarded a Humanities Institute at Stony Brook Faculty Fellowship for Spring semester of 2015 for the completion of his book, Queer Attachments.

Raiford Guins "Punk archaeologists" explain that they went looking for more than just video-game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill.  

Nancy Hiemstra has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Robert Harvey has been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Izabela Kalinowska-Blackwood is curating a film series at the IWM in Vienna.


Marcus Brock has been selected to receive the Turner Conference Travel Award to participation in the "Audiovisualtopia" taking place in Madrid, Spain beginning on 10/23/2015. 

Beth Tsai has been selected to receive the 2014-15 Graduate and Faculty Research Program in the Arts, Humanities and Lettered Social Sciences.

Kudos Newsletter 

        May 2016

The Humanities Institute

Cultural Analysis and Theory • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5355 • Phone: 631.632.7460 • Fax: 631.632.5707
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